EduBourseActualitésMidday Express of 2005-09-28

Midday Express of 2005-09-28

News from the Press and Communication Directorate General’s midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Presse et Communication

28 / 09 / 05

I. Résultats de la Commission du 27 septembre 2005 –
Outcome of Commission meeting of 27 September

Changement climatique : la Commission propose une stratégie en vue de réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre provenant des transports aériens
La Commission européenne a présenté un plan visant à réduire la contribution croissante des transports aériens au changement climatique. Les avions sont une source de plus en plus importante d’émissions de gaz à effet de serre, qui sont à l’origine du changement climatique. Ainsi, un vol aller-retour pour deux d’Amsterdam à la station balnéaire thaïlandaise de Phuket produit nettement plus de dioxyde de carbone (CO²), un gaz à effet de serre, qu’une voiture neuve moyenne n’en produit en une année entière. Dans une communication, la Commission déclare que la manière la plus prometteuse de lutter contre les émissions provenant de l’aviation est d’intégrer les exploitants d’aéronefs dans le système d’échange de quotas d’émission de gaz à effet de serre de l’UE (ETS). L’ETS fixe pour les émissions de gaz à effet de serre un plafond global à l’intérieur duquel les opérateurs participants peuvent, selon leurs besoins, acheter ou vendre des quotas d’émission. Les compagnies aériennes seraient ainsi incitées en permanence à réduire leurs émissions au minimum.

Better regulation : Commission intends to withdraw one third of screened proposals
The European Commission has delivered more results from its better regulation initiative. After screening 183 proposals for EU laws pending at the European Parliament and Council, the Commission has decided to announce toscrap more than a third (68). Some of the proposals are inconsistent with the objectives of the new Partnership for Growth and Jobs (Lisbon) or do not meet better regulation standards. Others are not advancing in the legislative process, or are simply outdated. This decision is just part of the Commission’s much broader initiative to cut red-tape and over-regulation. This exercise constitutes a step change in the way the Commission seeks to ensure that the quality of legislation in Europe promotes the objectives of the Partnership for Growth and Jobs. As a next step, the Commission will submit far-reaching proposals to simplify existing EU legislation in October.

II. Other news – Autres nouvelles

Commission clears acquisition of GPC by PAI
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of France/US based undertaking Crown Holdings Inc. Global Closures Group (GPC) by PAI Partners S.A.S. (PAI) of France. PAI is a private equity investment company, advising investment funds that hold a number of portfolio companies in various industries. GPC produces and supplies closures for consumer packaging and also produces plastic bottles for the drinks industry. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission clears acquisition of N&W by MLGPE and BA Capital Management
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of N&W Global Vending (N&W) of Italy by ML Global Private Equity L.P. (MLGPE) of the Cayman Islands, belonging to Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., and BACP Europe Fund V LP (BACPE Fund V), controlled by B.A. Capital Management Ltd., Jersey, the Channel Islands. MLGPE and B.A. Capital Management are private equity investment companies, advising investment funds that hold a number of portfolio companies in various industries. MLGPE and B.A. Capital Management hold a controlling interest in a number of these portfolio companies. N&W manufactures and markets dispensing vending machines for hot and cold beverages, snacks and foods. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Commission report on BSE in UK published
The European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office today published a report regarding its inspection of 6-15 June 2005 concerning protective measures against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the United Kingdom (see: EUROPA – Food and Veterinary Office – Introduction). In particular, the inspection evaluated the measures put in place by the UK authorities, and their application, to give effect to EU rules in force for the prevention, control and eradication of certain Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). These measures concern both active and passive surveillance of BSE, the removal and handling of Specified Risk Material (SRM), the ban on feeding processed animal proteins to farmed animals, and exceptions applicable to this total feed ban; and the system for identification and registration of bovine animals. Overall, the report concludes that satisfactory progress was noted in most areas. In particular, enhancements in the databases, monitoring of sampling and supervision of BSE epidemio-surveillance allow demonstration of how many animals are effectively tested; progress regarding dead on-farm animals must be maintained. In light of the report, Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said : “This favourable report means that the two conditions which the European Commission set out in its TSE Road Map for discussions to begin with Member States on lifting the embargo on British beef have now been met.”

La Commission annonce une liste de présélection pour le prix Descartes de la communication scientifique
Comment fabriquer de la “green slime”, l’histoire de fous de la vache folle, des mathématiques que l’on peut toucher, l’université des enfants, les requins, les quarks, l’atterrisseur martien Beagle… tels sont quelques-uns des sujets qui ont été présélectionnés pour le prix annuel Descartes de la communication scientifique. La liste comprend vingt-trois candidats, qui proviennent de dix pays. Cinq finalistes et cinq lauréats se partageront le prix de €275.000, qui sera décerné le 2 décembre 2005, à Londres.

Galileo towards cooperation with Saudi Arabia
At the occasion of a visit of a delegation from the European Commission and the European Space Agency in Jeddah, the authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have formally declared their interest to participate in the Galileo programme. The declaration was made during a Galileo Information Day organised in Jeddah on 26-27 September 2005. The Commission is set to prepare a recommendation for the Council concerning cooperation in satellite navigation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. International agreements on Galileo have already been signed or initialled with China, Israel, Ukraine and India while talks are under way with Norway, Morocco, South Korea, Argentina, Russia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Malaysia and Australia. Moreover, the signature of the EU/US agreement on 26 June 2004 confirmed the full interoperability and compatibility between Galileo and GPS and laid down the world standard for civil satellite navigation.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner to visit Lebanon (29-30/09)
European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will make her first bilateral visit Lebanon on 29-30 September. This visit demonstrates the Commission’s commitment to support Lebanon’s own reform programme and to lay the foundations for a deeper relationship between the EU and Lebanon, through the European Neighbourhood Policy. While in Beirut, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will meet leading politicians including the Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Faouzi Salloukh, Minister of Economy, Sami Haddad and Minister of Finance, Jihad Azour. She will also meet municipal leaders, receive a “draft Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan” from Lebanese students, and visit the late Rafik Harari’s tomb.

Economic Partnership Agreements : EU and Caribbean Region launch third phase of negotiations
European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson travels to St Lucia today to launch the third phase of Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between the European Union and the Caribbean region. The crucial third phase will launch negotiations on the text of a final agreement, encompassing the continued integration of the Caribbean regional economy and access to the European goods and services market. He will also exchange views with his Caribbean partners on the WTO Doha trade talks.

Commission pleased with outcome of the North-west Atlantic Fisheries Organisation’s annual meeting
The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, which is a member of the North-west Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO), has welcomed the outcome of the organisation’s annual meeting, held in Tallin, Estonia, last week. The constructive atmosphere in which the meeting took place augurs well for the strengthening of NAFO’s role in protecting fisheries resources in the area under its responsibility. It was decided to launch a reform process, in line with the conclusions of the ministerial declaration of last May’s ministerial conference, held in St John’s, Canada. The aim is to strengthen NAFO’s decision making process, fisheries management and control capacity. A working group will review the NAFO Convention so as to make proposals for next years’ annual meeting. The contracting parties confirmed the continued implementation of the 2003 Greenland halibut recovery plan which will see a reduction of the total allowable catch (TAC) from 19,000 tonnes this year, to 18,500 tonnes in 2006. There will be a move towards adopting an ecosystem approach by introducing a voluntary system for the collection of data that would allow for the location and protection of seamounts and cold water corals. A ban on shark finning, already in force in some regional fisheries organisations, will be put in place in NAFO. Finally, NAFO will adopt a procedure to blacklist fishing vessels from non-contracting states fishing in the area under its responsibility. The issue of applying trade sanctions will be examined at the 2006 annual meeting.

Danuta Hübner addresses the INTERACT Seminar on the future of European cooperation programmes
A two-day major seminar on the new round of Territorial Cooperation Programmes under Objective 3 of the Structural Funds is being held on 28-29 September 2005 in Brussels. National representatives in charge of territorial cooperation programmes as well as managing bodies of programmes and senior Commission officials will bring together all relevant stakeholders of the Interreg Community in order to discuss how to ensure a timely start of the new programmes for the period 2007-2013. Interreg cooperation programmes are a success story and demonstrate the EU’s effectiveness, transparency and its closeness to the citizens.

Autre matériel diffusé
Questions & answers on aviation & climate change
Background note on better regulation
Presentation by Günter Verheugen of the list of legislative proposals to be withdrawn (27/09, Strasbourg)
The 23 nominees for the 2005 Descartes Prize for Science Communication
Speech by Olli Rehn : “Accession negotiations with Turkey: the journey is as important as the final destination” (EP, Strasbourg)

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Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
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